Grandview Terrace is Certified Gluten-Free

Grandview Terrace Goes Gluten-Free, Public invited to luncheon April 25
Sun Health Senior Living community becomes state’s only continuing care retirement community to earn gluten-free kitchen certification

SUN CITY WEST, ARIZ. – April 11, 2013 – Grandview Terrace, one of three Sun Health Senior Living communities, became the state’s first and only continuing care retirement community (CCRC) to earn gluten-free certification for kitchen and dining staff from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).

The public is invited to sample Grandview’s gluten-free fare during a luncheon held on Thursday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m. Registration is required to attend. To RSVP, please call 623-975-8014. During the event, Terry Wallace, director of dining services, will explain the gluten-free certification and menu.

The measure to achieve gluten-free certification was a response to the precise dietary restrictions and requirements of a Grandview Terrace resident with celiac disease, a condition resulting in a severe immune reaction to the protein gluten that is found in wheat, rye and barley. For those with celiac disease, gluten can damage the small intestine and interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. The National Institutes of Health reports that one in 141 Americans suffers from celiac disease, which is becoming increasingly common and on track to become a major public health issue.

“The process of creating and serving a gluten-free menu was no small undertaking,” said Wallace. “It required us to change the way we do things, but the end result and being able to better serve our residents is most certainly worth the effort. In fact, the individual who sparked our gluten-free initiative is now a resident!”

Determined to meet the varied dietary needs of residents while catering to a growing trend toward gluten-free eating, Wallace, and Ron Mendyka, the community’s executive chef, began the certification process in March 2012.

Over the course of five months, 14 individuals spanning all aspects of kitchen operations and dining services at Grandview Terrace underwent training and certification through the NFCA’s GREAT (Gluten-free Resource Education and Awareness Training) Kitchens program. Those who earned gluten-free certification were educated about the risks of cross-contamination for those with celiac disease while being taught best practices for gluten-free worker hygiene, food handling, preparation and storage. In addition, all dining services staff receives training on gluten-free food handling procedures.

“For the Celiac community, this is the oasis in a vast desert,” said Resident Adrienne Cantor. “I was so impressed with the level of commitment that not only Grandview Terrace was making but Chef Ron was making, too. This is a place we can eat healthy and it’s delicious.”

In addition to the technical aspects of earning gluten-free certification, Wallace and Mendyka were challenged with creating a gluten-free menu that maintains the same flavor and appeal as their traditional menu. Rising to the culinary challenge, Mendyka created a six-week rotating menu that is both palate-pleasing and visually appealing.

The community’s gluten-free menu was unveiled in August 2012. Since then, more than 150 gluten-free meals have been served.

For more information about Grandview Terrace, visit www.SunHealthSeniorLiving.com and click on the link for Grandview Terrace.

About Sun Health
A long-standing community partner championing healthy living, Sun Health is a community-based health care organization providing pathways to Population Health through philanthropy, senior living, community programs and superior health care. Population Health is an approach that aims to improve the health of an entire population.

Nonprofit Sun Health has employed a variety of resources to develop healthy living programs that have the potential to enrich lives – for residents, patients, volunteers and donors. Its core service lines include:

  • Philanthropy for local health care, community health programs and senior living,
  • Senior living at The Colonnade (Surprise), Grandview Terrace (Sun City West) and La Loma Village (Litchfield Park), and
  • Community Health Programs: Sun Health Care Transitions, Sun Health Medication Management and Sun Health Community Education.